So how does this year's line up compare? Well not nearly as bad though there is still a marked tendency to nominate material from the very end of the year. And as I noted last year unlike the Oscars people aren't deliberately saving their best work for the year end so this means good stuff is missing out. January is still a weird month for nominations, people really don't know which year they should nominate for. Nothing from 2008 makes it into the '08 list but one from 2009 does. Some clarity around dates wouldn't go amiss.
On the topic of dates, the return of the Swearing Lady was long over due to my mind and she was much missed by all but the rules for nomination were that people had to be actively blogging between July 15th and December 15th 2008*. But Sweary only returned to us the first week of December, and had five posts before Dec 15th so I'm not sure how stands up as active blogging Then we've the curious case of the new Irish Economy Blog which on the short list for specialist Blog and which is a work of real quality and something I hope will long be with us but it didn't start until Dec 23rd.
Update: as pointed out by Philip from Irish Economy the first post was Dec 2nd. Which is still less than 2 weeks before the Dec 15th date.
I'm not saying it's all being made up as it goes along but it sure seems like it to even the most causal observer. It is entirely possible that some people didn't nominate a particular blog because they thought they had to follow the rules. Or maybe the truth is only the little people have to follow the rules.
The numbers month by month for 2008 and then 2007 are
Jan of 2008 had 7 nominations compared to this year's 1.
Sadly, I would say based on this that there is a more than fair chance that many of the posts nominated are not even the best posts the individual bloggers have done this year not to mind the best posts of the whole year overall. The idea of the best post of the month has helped, but it still leaves us with a problem at the tail end.
If I was to consider what should happen here, it would not be feasible at this stage to remove either of the blogs involved from the running for their categories. Instead what should happen is the proposed rules for next year should be posted within the next 4 weeks and people given a chance to provide feedback on them. I would also suggest if no questions were asked about the eligibility by any of the judges for those sections that they shouldn't be judges again. I mean how superficial were the criteria and assessment that no one noticed that the blogs hadn't been blogging?
*A reminder of the rules:
A Blog can be nominated in any category by anyone, but the Blog owner can only accept nominations in one category (with the exception of Best Blog Post) to move the blog forward into the judging rounds. To be nominated the Blog has to have been actively blogging between July 15th and December 15th 2008. Winners of each category will be sent forward into the Grand Prix category where they will compete for the title of “Best Blog 2009″